UPDATE @ 4:40PM:
This information is from Metro 911:
AS OF THIS TIME...METRO 911 HAS NOT RECEIVED ANY REPORTS OF PEOPLE EXPERIENCING ACUTE DISTRESS FROM CONTACT WITH THIS UNKNOWN SUBSTANCE.
METRO 911 STILL HAS NOT BEEN NOTIFIED OF THE SOURCE OR ORIGIN...AND NO ONE HAS NOTIFIED METRO 911 THAT THEY HAVE HAD A LEAK OR RELEASE.
AS SUCH...EMERGENCY OFFICIALS ARE NOT ADVISING A FORMAL SHELTER IN PLACE...BUT IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED TO VOLUNTARILY PROLONG EXPOSURE BECAUSE THE SUBSTANCE IS STILL UNKNOWN.
Metro 911 is advising people in Kanawha County to go indoors if you are affected by the mysterious blue haze and chlorine smell.
Commissioner Kent Carper says people in Kanawha County should stay indoors if they feel affected by the haze -- and call 911 if you are feeling sick. He adds that the haze has been reported as far west as Putnam County.
Carper initially told WSAZ that a shelter in place was issued, but has since said that is not the case. He says the fact that the haze is a mystery is what is prompting the county to issue a warning.
Carper says Dow reported a tanker car leaking earlier in the day, but he said officials don't know if it's connected with the blue haze.
The Kanawha County EOC has been activated, according to Carper, who is also the President of the Kanawha County Metro 911 board.
WIND REPORT FROM TONY CAVALIER:
There is virtually no wind and that will continue this eve.
That means there will be a higher concentration of the gas/haze over smaller area than if we had a wind blowing the haze affecting a larger area with a smaller concentration.
What is likely happening, the gas is warmer than the air is rising and spreading outward due a process known as diffusion.
What is diffusion? The spreading out of a gas in all directions regardless of wind speed, direction.
Dispatchers earlier told us they've checked with Dow and Bayer, and those companies say they've had no leaks.
A caller to WSAZ says she saw a blue cloud headed toward her house just off Corridor G.
Dale Petry, Kanawha County Emergency Services Director says crews are trying to track the source of the haze -- and that it's dissipating as quickly as it appeared. Petry says he doesn't know what the chemical is, but says it has a chlorine-like smell.
Anyone wanting additional information about the mystery haze should call (304) 746-8749.
Stay with WSAZ.com for more information.
Here is the news release issued by Metro 911 at 3:48pm:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Metro 911 reports haze and chlorine smell over Charleston and South Charleston
Officials advise if you are in distress, stay inside and do not hesitate to call 911 for help
Metro 911 of Kanawha County is reporting a haze and strong chlorine smell in the Charleston and South Charleston area.
Metro 911 has received dozens of calls from the public, starting around 1:15 p.m. today and continuing at this hour.
Industrial sources of hazardous materials are required to notify Metro 911 when they have a leak or release of such product. At this time, Metro 911 has not received any notification. Metro 911 and emergency managers have contacted all chemical facilities in the region and none report any lost product.
As a result, emergency officials do not know the source of the smell or what the product is or its origin. Following established protocols, emergency officials have activated the Emergency Operations Center and are tracking the location of the calls.
The public is being advised that if you are in any form of distress, stay inside and do not hesitate to call 911 for help. Extra ambulances are on standby as a precaution.
The EOC will stand open to assess and monitor this situation until officials are assured there is no danger.
For more information, call EOC personnel at 746-8743.